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LATIN AMERICAN INFLUENCE ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Anka Balant, 2012, undergraduate thesis

Abstract: In the first part of my graduation thesis I speak about Latin America because that is where English Spanish cognates came from. There are twenty countries in Latin America and they generally lie south of the United States. Europeans began to influence the people and culture of Latin America with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. He "discovered" many islands in the Caribbean and mapped the coast of Central and South America. Spain built its empire in the central and southern parts of the Americas and exploited human and material resources. Preservation of Christianity in Latin America was also the goal of the Spanish Crown and it allowed colonialism to rule Latin America for over three hundred years. As I state in my graduation thesis, the Spanish domination of cruelty, exploitation, discrimination and repression did not last forever. American-born descendants of Spaniards, called criollos, fought for South American independence, and continued to rule many new nations of Spanish America for generations. The struggle for independence was hard, but despite that almost all Latin American countries had gained their independence by 1825. The main part of my graduation thesis is about English Spanish cognates. In a technical sense, cognates are two words that have a common origin. Cognates often have similar meaning, but in some cases the meaning has changed over the centuries in one language or another. An example of such a change is the English word "arena," which usually refers to a sports facility, and the Spanish arena, which usually means "sand." They both come from the Latin harena, which originally meant "sand" and came in time to also refer to an arena of a Roman amphitheater that was covered with sand. Spanish retained the meaning of "sand" (although the word can sometimes refer to a sports arena), but English expanded the word's meaning to include facilities, something like the Roman amphitheater (spanish.about.com). In a popular and not technical sense, the phrase "false cognate" is used to refer to cognates that have different meanings, such as the Spanish molestar (to bother) and the English "molest" (to abuse sexually). A more precise term to use for such word pairs is "false friends” (spanish.about.com).
Keywords: Latin America, Christopher Columbus, Spanish colonization of the Americas, Independence of Latin America, English Spanish cognates.
Published: 03.01.2013; Views: 1040; Downloads: 60
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